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Source: Department of Conservation


Seaweek is a time for all of us to get to know our ocean, its habitats, characteristics and inhabitants better. Ko au te moana, ko te moana ko au – I am the sea, the sea is me.

Date:  27 February 2020

This year’s Seaweek theme is all about connecting with our seas and learning about the ocean because it is so important to all our lives, no matter how far you are from it.

Community Ranger, Nataalia Lunson from the Department of Conservation says people living in the Bay of Plenty are fortunate to have the ocean in their backyard.

“And we’re keen to help encourage people to dive in and learn more about how to care for the moana and marine life.”

“There are lots of great activities and events organised ranging from a poem competition, film screening, marine life photography workshop, toolbox for teachers, and the public can even take a selfie with Oscar the Seal at the Dinner in the Domain and at the Little Big Markets,” Nataalia says.

Schools in the Western Bay of Plenty can encourage their students to enter an inspirational poem about the ocean and go into the chance to win a school visit from a Discovery Through Nature science educator or a new book for the school library. The Poem competition opens Saturday, February 29 and closes on Sunday, March 8.

New Zealand Association for Environmental Educators (NZAEE) BOP branch representative Janie Stevenson says NZAEE would like to see environmental education integrated into everyday curriculum. 

“There are lots of interactive and engaging resources locally available and we highly recommend teachers join the BOP Regional Council’s REEF newsletter to keep abreast of local BOP environmental education opportunities.”

Specially for boaties there will be a chance to participate in a nationwide survey focusing on how we behave around marine mammals and view marine reserves, and to learn about the SMART Operator Programme which aims to promote responsible behaviour around dolphins, whales and seals by boat operators. Look out for the Seaweek flag at the Sulphur Point boat ramp.

Tauranga based SMART operator Dolphin Seafaris NZ are hosting a Marine Life Photography Workshop with local photographers Nathan Pettigrew and Jamie Troughton.

Nathan Pettigrew says it will cover hints and tips about how to capture great marine wildlife images including what camera gear and settings to use, and what to look for.

“It’s going to be a fantastic outing aboard Dolphin Seafaris and for just $50 per person it’s an epic opportunity for people wanting to learn about wildlife photography.

Seaweek runs from Saturday, February 29 until Sunday, March 8 and is hosted by the NZ Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE) and supported by the Department of Conservation.

To find out more about Seaweek visit or like Sea week on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with all the news.

Western Bay of Plenty events

Seaweek Inspiration Poems Competition

Saturday 29th February – Sunday 8th March

Enter your inspirational poem about the ocean to the DOC website under competitions – See conditions for entry. Limited to Western Bay of Plenty Schools.

SMART Surveys for Boaties

Saturday 29th February and Sunday 1st March, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at Sulphur Point boat ramp.

Help be part of the solution by completing a pulse survey that will contribute to a national picture of how we behave around marine life.

Marine Toolbox for Teachers

Monday 2nd March, 4 pm – 5 pm at Tauranga DOC Office, 253 Chadwick Road, Greerton or via Skype.

Learn about the resources online to help you inspire your students about the ocean. For more information contact

Marine Life Photography Workshop with Nathan Pettigrew and Jamie Troughton

Wednesday 4th March, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Meet at Bridge Marina, Mount Maunganui

A meet and greet with fellow local photographers Nathan Pettigrew and Jamie Troughton to embark with them on an epic journey capturing some of the stunning marine life in the Bay of Plenty. A few ‘marine life hints and tips’ will be provided along the way! At just $50 per person, it is going to be a fantastic day, but there are limited numbers, so be in quick!
Book at: or call 021 0281 6079

Oscar The Seal Selfies

Thursday 5th March, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Dinner in the Domain, Papamoa

Saturday 7th March, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Little Big Markets, Coronation Park, Mount Maunganui

Eastern Bay of Plenty events

Seven Rivers Walking – Haere Māire Film Screening

Monday 2nd March, 6:30 pm at De luxe Theatre, Ōpōtiki

The film documents a series of protest walks and talks along the rivers of Canterbury. The city rivers of Christchurch and the braided rivers of the Canterbury Plains are in trouble. Threatened by poisoning, plundering and encroachment – they are in crisis – and Cantabrians are getting upset.

Celebrating Connecting with our Seas

Tuesday 3rd March – Tuesday 10th March at various locations in Port Ōhope and Ōpōtiki

Children will experience an environment where they discover different ways to be expressive and explore the theme of connecting with our seas. Registrations are required. Email:


For media enquiries contact:

Phone: +64 4 496 1911